This paper presents a recent case study in the field of language counselling and individual learning difficulties of adult learners of German as a foreign language in Germany. The study concerns three different aspects: individual learning processes, the very subjective meaning of learning difficulties, and the concept of language counselling or Lernberatung. The paper focuses on describing language counselling in a discourse about autonomous learning processes as well as on the development of an adequate research design. As one result of the study I present six analytical categories useful for describing individual language learning difficulties arising in counselling sessions. One of the cases of the study is presented as an example to illustrate the research process and possible results of language learning counselling. Learner-centred, individualized didactic concepts and learner-centred research designs may well complete the discussion about learner autonomy in language learning.
The aim of this paper is to discuss an example of the interplay between qualitative and quantitative methods of text analysis which are combined primarily to triangulate the data from both methods of analysis but also to provide more detailed and reliable analyses. The material consists of the applications for the European label for innovative language projects and their respective assessments. They represent underlying beliefs and socially constructed assumptions about the concept of innovation in this specific discourse within the Austrian educational system. Text analysis of this corpus is based on two methods: on the Critical Discourse Analysis approach by Norman Fairclough (1992, 1995, 2001) and on the Corpus Analysis approach (McEnery & Wilson, 1996). The findings show that the two approaches complement and support each other and increase the quality of the research results.